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Tia-Clair Toomey, Chandler Smith Capture Mayhem Classic Titles

Morning Chalk Up

January 13


Good morning and welcome to the Morning Chalk Up. The CrossFit Mayhem Classic wrapped up yesterday, and we’ve got a full recap. And, as the Australian bushfires continue to rage, the CrossFit community has come together across the globe to raise funds for those fighting and affected by the blazes. Today:

  • Toomey and Smith top the podiums in Cookeville.
  • Schafer and Brandon are Madison-bound.
  • $100,000 and counting to support Australia.
  • New Morning Chalk Up merch drops. 
  • Sanctionals news and notes.
  • Glassman shares his thoughts on the NSCA court ruling.

Hit a new PR or have story idea? Hit us up at [email protected].



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Toomey, Chandler Capture Mayhem Classic Titles, Two More Athletes Earn Invites


Competition came to a close at the CrossFit Mayhem Classic on Sunday evening, crowning two familiar names as champions and awarding two other athletes invitations to the 2020 CrossFit Games. For three days, all eyes of the CrossFit community were on Cookeville, TN and the first Sanctional of the calendar year did not disappoint.


The reigning, defending and three-time Fittest Woman on Earth dominated the competition from start to finish. Tia-Clair Toomey looked in peak form as she won six of the seven events including the final four, finishing with 695 out of a possible 700 points and marking her third career Sanctional victory. With her Games invitation secured as national champion of Australia, the Mayhem Games berth was up for grabs.

Toomey talks about how she values the experience more than the win in her competition wrap-up interview with reporter Niki Brazier.

  • Danielle Brandon receives the Games invite for now with her third place finish but her invitation will be passed onto fourth place finisher Feeroozah Saghafi after Open invites are finalized. Brandon, who was the only athlete not named Toomey to win an event, should receive an Open backfill spot after the female athletes competing on teams at the Games decline their bids.
  • Saghafi will make her second Games appearance after competing last year. She took a different route to her invite this season after making it to the Games through the Open in 2019.
  • Saghafi was unaware that she’d be the eventual invitee after Open backfilling is complete until the Morning Chalk Up broke the news to her. Watch her response.
  • Kristi Eramo O’Connell looked ready for individual competition after a year away. She placed second behind Toomey and recorded four top-three finishes. Last season, Eramo O’Connell competed at the Games on a team after three trips as an individual. She earned her Games invite with a 14th place finish in the Open.
  • Keep an eye out for Paige Powers. The 16-year-old and latest Mayhem prodigy, placed 18th overall but recorded two fifth place finishes in a field packed with Games and Regional veterans. She was one of just five women to finish the final event which featured a descending ladder of parallette handstand push-ups and  squat cleans at 185 pounds. A two-time teen athlete at the Games, she placed third in the female 16-17 age group in 2019. We caught up with her after that event to find out more about this rising star.


Chandler Smith picked up his first Sanctional victory and goes back to Fort Knox, Kentucky  $15,000 richer. Despite holding the lead going into the final day, the field made him work for it. He held a ten-point lead over Luke Schafer going into the final event. Needing to finish one spot ahead to secure the title, he won the last heat of the competition just ahead of Schafer.  

Listen to Smith talk about his goals and how the victory changes his plans.

  • You may not have heard of Schafer but he’s a Games team veteran. The 26-year old future medical student has competed at the Games twice on a team. At the 2015 Games, he was a member of CrossFit Kilo and last season he competed with OC3 Black, who finished just off the podium in fourth place. We caught up with Luke Schafer after the competition.
  • Canadian national champion Jeffrey Adler finished third, his first career podium finish at a Sanctional.
  • Parity was the name of the game at Mayhem in the men’s division. Each event featured a different winner. The eventual champion, Smith did not win a single event, his best finish being third.

The Final Top 10 Leaderboard

  1. Tia-Clair Toomey (695) | Chandler Smith (538)
  2. Kristi Eramo-O’Connell (595) | Luke Shafer (524)
  3. Danielle Brandon (581) | Jeffrey Adler (457)
  4. Feeroozeh Saghafi (520) | Kyle Bernier (450)
  5. Rebecca Voigt Miller (453) | Connor Duddy (448)
  6. Steph Chung (410) | Alexandre Caron (443)
  7. Caroline Conners (404) | Saxon Panchik (431)
  8. Amanda Hardeman (399) | Ben Smith (430)
  9. Hayley Murillo (379) | Josh Miller (417)
  10. Marie-Pier Bonneau (378) | Drew Wayman(391)

Niki Brazier recaps the final day of competition from Cookeville. Subscribe to the Morning Chalk Up YouTube Channel and get alerts for all the latest news, interviews and stories in the CrossFit community.


CrossFit Community Raises $100K for Australian Fires

  CrossFit Community Raises $100K for Australian Fires  

The Australian CrossFit community has raised nearly $100,000 to help support the country’s unrelenting bushfire crisis. Collectively a goal has been set by affiliates worldwide to raise more than a quarter of a million dollars.

The Fittest On Earth have also been assisting with the fundraising efforts, bringing much needed cash for the country’s firefighting services and emergency relief.

  • James Newbury partnered with FITAID for the Aussie Koala Bear Challenge. They’ve managed to raise $20,000 and counting. His coach Michele Letendre from DekaComp also launched the 100 burpee box jump overs for time challenge. Watch Pat Vellner complete the workout here in just 5:37.
  • Brent Fikowski dropped in to CrossFit CrossAxed in Brisbane as a guest coach when 50 members took on the hero workout “HotShots 19” to raise money on January 11.
  • Khan Porter has also programmed his own fundraiser workout “Heart” asking CrossFitters around the world to take part and donate money.

The devastation in Australia is unprecedented, but so too have been the worldwide fundraising efforts.

The Morning Chalk Up has been inundated with affiliates all around the world pitching in to help and while we’ve been trying to showcase as many as possible–both on the website and newsletter–here’s an update on a few in Australia that we’ve been keeping an eye on.

  • Hotshots 19: Many affiliates took on the brutal hero workout this weekend. CrossFit Torian was one, managing to raise $3,500.
  • CrossFit Bells Beach chose to take a different approach, raising thousands of dollars for one family in particular–a member of their community–that lost everything in the fires.
  • Burpees For The Bush Fires is ongoing with 25 gyms now on board. The team from CrossFit Hoppers Crossing have set a bold goal of raising $30,000.
  • The folks at The WOD Life are still encouraging people to take on their fundraiser workout – as they grow closer to their tally of raising $10,000.
  • CrossFitters For BushFire Relief is rallying support from gyms worldwide and currently has 70 boxes taking part in their workout later this month. The team set a goal of raising a quarter of a million dollars – sign up your box here.
  • Lifting Culture Apparel raised $7,500 for Red Cross Australia with their limited edition t-shirt. Solid effort guys!

You can read more about what’s happening down under and where to donate here.

If you’re a local affiliate with members affected by the bushfire crisis, be sure to reach out to us [email protected].


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Support the Morning Chalk Up! Buy a Shirt and Patch

  Support the Morning Chalk Up! Buy a Shirt and Patch  

You’ve probably heard us say this before, but thank you to all the fans and Morning Chalk Up supporters who continue to make this publication possible. Last year, purchases of tanks and tees helped keep our reporters on the road through the Sanctional season, and we’re already using that support to continue delivering end-to-end coverage of events across the globe. 

We just launched our new designs and added tactical patches (US Only) perfect for your backpacks or weight vests.


Sanctionals News and Notes

  • The Rogue Invitational released the first workouts for their online qualifier.
  • Stacie Tovar returns to the competition floor for the first time since retiring in 2017, confirming she will compete at the Rogue Invitational in the Legends Division. 
  • Wodapalooza released an all-star roster of confirmations for the individual division. Noah Ohlsen, Travis Williams, Danielle Brandon, Chandler Smith and Willy Georges will head to Miami.
  • The Asia CrossFit Championships are looking for qualified judges for their Sanctional in Shanghai, China in May.
  • Event 2 of the Asia CrossFit Championships online qualifier has been released.
  • Down Under CrossFit Championship has opened up a male and female wildcard invitation for the CrossFit community to nominate. Our vote: James Newbury.
  • Cole Sager and Danielle Brandon have confirmed for the West Coast Classic.
  • Registration is now live for the West Coast Classic.
  • Strength in Depth has released the first two workouts for Elite Individuals and Elite Teams and event 1 is a CrossFit Games repeat. 
  • Once again Strength in Depth has sold out, at least for Saturday and Sunday. After expanding their seating capacity and releasing 1,300 more tickets, the only available seats are for Friday night.
  • The Italian Showdown announced FITAID as the main sponsor.



A Day in the Life of Emily Rolfe

Nate Edwardson heads out to Vancouver, Canada to hang with Emily Rolfe, the 18th Fittest Woman on Earth. Fun Fact: Rolfe lives in a condo and she turned her underground parking garage space into a mini CrossFit gym with a squat rack.

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Controlling the Chaos of Training in CrossFit

OG CrossFit Games athlete James Fitzgerald joins the Breaking Muscle podcast to discuss everything from controlling the chaos of CrossFit training, gut health, and why utilizing a cyclical approach to diet and training is so important.

  Morning Chalk Up  



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Coach Glassman on the Court’s NSCA Ruling: “A Museum Grade Specimen of Scientific Misconduct”

On Sunday afternoon, CrossFit HQ circulated an email to the community from CEO and founder Greg Glassman. While he did not provide any new information on the case, he did offer a sincere thank you to the 15,000 affiliates around the world. Here are some key passages: 

  • “The trove of evidence and rulings in CF vs NSCA in U.S. Court, and CF vs NSCA in Ohio Court, and NSCA vs CF in California Court presents a museum grade specimen of scientific misconduct.”
  • “Our specimen has fabrication and falsification of data, suborned by the NSCA’s Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research’s editor-in-chief in the peer review process and repeated scientific misconduct in misrepresenting to the public and press what was happening in the courts and in the retraction.”
  • “As it became apparent that the NSCA was about to be exposed the whole organization responded organism-like with coordinated perjuries and data and device slight-of-hand that would make a musician proud.”
  • “The NSCA took a study that demonstrated a remarkably positive training effect doing CrossFit and added injuries that never occurred. This puts the NSCA in wholesale abdication of any presumed charter of advancing human performance in the service of health. CrossFit is more than willing to make good on that charter, we’re 20-years-in successful in the very regard, and willingly assume the mantle of trusted authority on fitness and lifestyle outcomes including and especially health.”
  • “I more than appreciate the support of my affiliates in our efforts to expose all of this…The good that comes out of exposing the NSCA is testimony to the good coming out of 15,000 CF gyms around the world.”

The Morning Chalk Up has been following this story and will continue to provide updates as the courts move into assigning damages in the next phase of the case.



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